In the past, healthcare providers worked with patients one-on-one, and many even offered home visits. Using the traditional model, doctors billed patients directly, and the relationship between doctor and patient was often a strong, personal one that provided patients with a more intimate level of care. Unfortunately, as time has passed, health insurance has come into play, and this has led to a disruption in the relationship between doctors and patients, ultimately creating higher costs for healthcare providers, and therefore, higher costs for patients.
While the insurance model has been dominant for the better part of the past few decades, some healthcare providers are now choosing to move back to the traditional model of providing direct primary care in order to once again develop strong patient relationships while cutting overhead costs and lowering costs for patients.
What is Direct Primary Care?
Essentially, direct primary care is a system in which doctors bill patients a monthly or annual fee in order to access care. Typically, the patient will be able to receive unlimited visits with his or her primary care physician throughout the period of their plan, and unlike concierge medical care, insurance is not involved. Under this model, physicians are able to see patients more often while developing closer relationships, and in the world of healthcare, this generally equals greater patient satisfaction and brand loyalty for the physician and his or her staff.
The Cost-Saving Benefits of Direct Primary Care
Aside from offering patients and doctors the ability to form closer relationships, direct primary care can also cut costs drastically for physicians and patients. Today, the insurance model requires so much in the way of paperwork and man hours just to keep within compliance of laws and regulations. Under the direct primary care model, the overhead required to comply with insurance regulations and laws is eliminated, and patients are also able to get exactly what they pay for.
How Medical Office Software Can Help
Another benefit to taking part in the direct primary care model is that you can use software to easily put into place an efficient practice management system. Because you won’t have to deal with complicated insurance issues, your practice management software can be more streamlined, and it will also likely require fewer updates because you won’t have to deal with ever changing policies and laws. Using healthcare software, you can also better keep up with patient records while complying with HIPPA laws, thereby increasing patient satisfaction and patient protection.
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include healthcare management and business development.